TRACO LAFF’AN AS UNBEATEN RUN CONTINUES
Traco Athletic continued their unbeaten 100% winning record with a home win against AFC Laffans, on Saturday.
Nick Brown, with five names on the bench available to him, was able to field a strong side for this one. While Mac and Kyran dropped to the bench, new addition Will Toal came straight into the fold. Andy Franklin also returned to the starting eleven.
For the first real chance of the afternoon, a set piece from the near flank flew marginally high over the bar. Minutes later, Gittoes’s services were called into action, producing a fine save to block a point-blank shot. Laffans’s number 10 was a real threat throughout, causing Traco concerns, who failed to clear their lines on this occasion. Sam Hull superbly tracked back to fling his body on the line to deflect it behind for a corner.
In the 14th minute, an inswinging corner to the near post saw a bullet header go wide of the left stick. Following this, Joe Chuter was struggling after being on the receiving end of a straying foot to his back while he was on the ground, meaning Fenton was given the chance to shine, drawing the immediate injury-forced change.
A potentially controversial talking point to take from the game was the subsequent awarded spot kick. The referee judged the outrushing Laffans stopper to have unlawfully clattered into the back of Fenton, who went down and drew the penalty. Lucern was elected as the man to step up from the spot and confidently converted, slotting into the bottom left hand corner.
The Laffans goalkeeper did pull out a cracking save to deny Fenton, next, who connected with Lucern’s cross, which was at a perfect height to drive his headed effort towards goal. Fenton certainly hasn’t been shy of pulling the trigger this season, with his many chances, as his thundering strike rattled the underside of the bar and bounced straight out.
Traco found their second in the 32nd minute when Fenton was the major playmaker in a counter attacking move that ended in being the supplier for new signing Will Toal to thump it home into the roof of the net.
The visitors pegged one back six minutes before the interval when Franklin pulled out a superb block to deny the first effort, and he was judged to have illegally denied the follow-up, striking his hand in the process. Despite there being gasps from the touchline from both managers, the decision stood, from the penalty kick, to make it 2-1. Cam couldn’t quite keep the spot kick out, diving the right way, getting low and his fingertips to it.
Our third and final goal came two minutes into the second half, as Kyran’s shot was deflected, allowing Fitzsimons to push a few yards in front of the last defender. With the flag rightfully staying down, he slyly tapped the ball home into the bottom right, running away to celebrate.
Soon after, a Dean Lucern free kick was somehow kept out by the “casual” straying arm of the visitors’ goalkeeper.
Late on, frustrations grew and grew, for reasons beyond our control. First, TJ went close with a run of his own that ended up with finding nothing minus the side netting. In the penultimate few seconds of the standard 90 minutes, an attempted cross-shot looped and whistled over the head of Gittoes to catch what was a late consolation goal. With SEVEN minutes of added time played, and a very nervy final ten minutes, the referee finally called a halt to proceedings with the full-time whistle.
This game marked the final and testimonial for Kyle Kitch, who imminently sets up home abroad. We would like him all the best for the future.